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Love, Passion and Patriotism is an intimate account of the lives and experiences of a renowned group of young Filipino patriots, the men whose propaganda campaign was a catalyst for the country's revolt against Spain.
José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, and the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna were talented writers, artists, and scientists who resided in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. As expatriates they were free from the social constraints of their own society and eager to explore all that Europe had to offer. Their studies exposed them to scientific discourse on the body and new categorizations of pathology and disease, knowledge which they used to challenge the religious obscurantism and folk superstition they saw in their country.
Their experience of modern life in Europe also radically reshaped their ideas of sex and the sexual nature of Filipino women. Raquel A. G. Reyes uses the paintings, photographs, political writings, novels, and letters of the propagandistas to show the moral contradictions inherent in their passionate patriotism and their struggle to come to terms with the relative sexual freedom of European women, which they found both alluring and sordid. Provoked by racism and allegations of effeminacy and childishness, they displayed their manliness and urbanity through fashionable European dress, careful grooming and deportment, and demonstrated their courage and virility through fencing, pistol-shooting, and dueling.
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